CLAFI Events

Rafe Esquith

Elementary School Teacher, The Hobart Shakespeareans

Rafe Esquith is a schoolteacher who for the bulk of his career taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles.  Three-fourths of his students were Hispanic, virtually none had English as a first language, and the families of 90 percent were below the poverty level.  He had remarkable success, as large numbers of his students went on to prestigious colleges.  He has been Disney National Teacher of the Year and has received the President’s Medal of the Arts and Oprah Winfrey’s “Use Your Life Award.”  He has been honored by the Queen of England, the Dalai Lama, actor Ian McKellan, and many others far too numerous to mention.  Each year his students publicly performed in their classroom a complete play by Shakespeare.  His students, under the name of the Hobart Shakespeareans, have performed Shakespeare and other material at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Globe Theater in London, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Supreme Court of the United States.  Since 2015 he has continued his work with children privately, still under the name of the Hobart Shakespeareans.  He is also an outstanding public speaker—thoughtful, amusing, informative, provocative, and inspiring.  No one who heard his talk several years ago at CLAFI’s conference on education in the commercial republic will want to miss these events, and you should not miss them either.

Lecture: Beyond the Test: Three Ways to Change a Student’s Life Forever and For Better

Time: Thursday, October 28, 7:30 P.M.

Location: ROYCE HALL, ROOM 314

Rafe Esquith’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available.

Seminar: Almost Impossible: Creating a Lifelong Reader in a Mixed Up, Muddled Up, Shook Up World

Reading: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Time: Saturday, October 30, 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Location: ROYCE HALL, ROOM 306

Registration for the seminar with Rafe Esquith is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read and be prepared to discuss materials to be distributed in advance.  A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar. To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Carol McNamara

School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Carol McNamara is the associate director of public programs and a senior lecturer at Arizona State’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Literature.  She has studied various aspects of political theory, with a particular interest in the intersection of politics and literature.  Her publications include the book A Political Companion to Tom Wolfe and numerous articles, including some on Wolfe and on Shakespeare.  She has played a leading role in the development of academic programs on political philosophy and the liberal arts more generally at Utah State University, Weber State University, and Arizona State.  Tom Wolfe was an influential journalist and, later in his life, the author of four important novels, including The Bonfire of the Vanities.  He contributed a number of terms to American English, including “radical chic” and “mau-mauing (as a verb).”  He died in 2018.  Carol McNamara is uniquely qualified to lecture on his contributions to American life and thought.

Lecture: Tom Wolfe’s America

Time: Thursday, November 18, 7:30 P.M.

Location: DODD HALL, ROOM 121

Carol McNamara’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available.

Seminar: Shakespeare’s Tempest

Reading: Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Time: Saturday, November 20, 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Location: ROYCE HALL, ROOM 306

Registration for the seminar with Carol McNamara is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read The Tempest and participate actively in the discussion. A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar. To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Play Reading: Noel Coward, Private Lives

Presented by Interact Theatre Company

Time: Monday, November 22, 7:30 PM

Location: ROYCE HALL, ROOM 314

Noël Coward was widely acclaimed as a playwright, songwriter, director, actor, singer, and author.  He was especially known for his wit and sophistication.  Private Lives, a comedy about love and marriage, has remained one of his most popular plays.

     Since 1999, the acclaimed and award-winning Interact Theatre Company has been presenting staged play readings at UCLA.  This reading is co-sponsored by CLAFI and the UCLA Law School. 

This event is free and open to all. No advance registration is required. Light refreshments will be available.